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Future of electric vehicles in India

Context:

  • The Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health, published by the peer- reviewed Lancet medical journals in October 2017, attributed to air pollution an estimated 6.5 million premature deaths globally, with 1.1 million being from India.

India’s deteriorating air quality: as per Lancent medical journal

  • In 2014, the World Health Organisation’s urban air quality database had found four Indian cities to be among the world’s 10 most polluted.
  • The database also placed 10 Indian cities in the 20 worst list.
  • In urban India, emissions from motor vehicles are among the prime reasons.
  • The challenge of rising vehicular pollution in Indian cities is push for using electric vehicles in India.

What is electric vehicle?

  • All electric vehicle run on electricity only. An electric vehicle uses one or more electric motors or traction motors for propulsion.
  • An electric vehicle may be powered through a collector system by electricity from off-vehicle sources, or may be self-contained with a battery, solar panels or an electric generator to convert fuel to electricity.
  • EVs include road and rail vehicles, surface and underwater vessels, and electric spacecraft.

Why there is need for electric vehicles in India?

Push for electric mobility:

  •  NITI Aayog has estimated that the nation can save up to ₹4 lakh crore by rapidly adopting EVs.
  • It will help in achieving India’s ambitious renewable energy plan.
  • From 2030, India would completely shift to using electric vehicles (EVs).
  • It will help in addressing vehicular pollution in India.
  • It will help in curbing green houses. Hence will reduce global warming.
  • It will promote clean and green energy. Hence environment friendly.
  • It will help in achieving the target of “Paris climate agreements”.

Impact of electric vehicles:

Impact on oil industry:

  • A large volume of oil will go unused.
  • Prices of petroleum will reduce. Hence less profit for auto makers which will affect employment in this sector.
  • It could be a disaster for many oil exporting and OPEC countries. May lead to financial crisis.
  • Less demand of oil will result in fall in domestic exploration and fall in investment to oil sector.

Other loopholes in electric vehicles:

  • Most of the electric vehicles especially car need to be recharge again.
  • Electric cars is however silent and can lead to accidents in some cases.
  • Limited seating capability.

What challenges India is facing in mainstreaming electric vehicles ?

Some Majors Challenges has to face to implement.

  • India’s whole Infrastructure is not capable to adopt Electric vehicles.
  • Still many villagers night spent in Moon light & Kersoene lamp.
  • Issue of Charging and storage current
  • Our Motor Vehicle is not suitable for Electric vehicles.
  • Extra Burden on State to implement Electric vehicles.

What India needs to be done address in order to move towards electric mobility?

India needs to address the following fundamental issues in order to move towards electric mobility:

  • The NITI Aayog lays stress on the need for a robust action plan to move towards electric mobility by 2030, India needs to address five fundamental issues immediately.

1- Lead actor:

  •  EVs, involve several actors at the national, State and city levels, respectively.  It needs multiple ministries as well as national institutes such as NITI Aayog.
  • Since the initial EV revolution would predominantly be an urban one, State and city-level players need to be involved so as to address several technical and infrastructural needs.
  • Coordination between all three is crucial in driving the EV agenda.

2-   Figuring out the best mode forward:

  • China has focussed on the use of electric buses as a catalyst for EV penetration.
  • It is the largest electric bus manufacturer in the world, with most in use in the country.
  • In 2016 about 80,000 electric buses were added to China’s roads.
  • The Netherlands, has captured the EV market using a simple yet well-crafted strategy of creating charging infrastructure and encouraging investment in charging technology by providing incentives to EV buyers.
  • Netherlands has the densest charging infrastructure in the world and is a major exporter of this technology.
  • These two case studies show that sustained growth is possible only due to positive economic impacts of EVs.
  • India is today the largest manufacturer and exporter of two-wheelers and auto-rickshaws.

3Battery conundrum

  • India does not produce lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries currently, and companies making battery packs are dependent almost exclusively on imports from China.
  • This is a cost-saving strategy as setting up a cell manufacturing unit in India would be expensive.
  • Accelerating EV use in India should be linked to the “Make in India” goal and domestic battery production.
  • Investment is required for research and development in battery-making and exploring alternative technologies.

4- Charging infrastructure.

  • EV charging is more than just using electricity.
  •  It involves exchange of information requiring a communication protocol.
  • There is no unique or single-charging technology for EVs.
  • The three major EV users, China, Japan and the European Union, have their own charging technologies which are often conflicting and not interchangeable.
  • The absence of a standard global infrastructure is a major deterrent for EV penetration in India, as creating infrastructure can be cost-intensive. For this, the government needs to select or develop appropriate charging technology that avoids multiplicity and reduces the cost of infrastructure, while making it convenient and safe for users.

Jobs and economic impact:

  • India is the world’s fourth largest fifth auto market, where over 25 million motor vehicles are produced.
  • The sector is estimated to provide direct and indirect employment to about three crore people and accounts for 7.1% of the nation’s GDP.
  • The industry is estimated to grow to $300 billion in annual revenue by 2026, creating 65 million additional jobsand contributing over 12% to the GDP.

Conclusion:

EVs have the potential to disrupt the mobility ecosystem, and, if implemented well, could have a positive impact on the economy as well as the urban environment. India, however, needs a road map, with timelines, processes, well-researched impact studies, bold initiatives and robust investments in technological research to turn its EV dream into reality.

A thorough qualitative and quantitative estimation of the new jobs the EV sector will create would go a long way in negating apprehensions and securing the pathway for EV technology and use.

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